Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Committee picked best person for the job

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Madeline Greenwald and Carole Rayburn accuse the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee of ignoring women in filling vacancies to the House of Delegates (‘‘Montgomery losing its lead in sending women to the legislature,” Jan. 2 letter).

The committee, consisting of 11 women (who are presumably sensitive to the needs of women) and 12 men is chaired by a woman. The record of the four votes in 2007 to fill vacancies does not support the argument that the committee ignores women candidates. Rather the committee voted for the candidates who could best represent the county in Annapolis.

Greenwald and Rayburn ignore that the committee selected Nancy King as a state senator from District 39; ignored because it does not support their argument. In the vote for a delegate from District 39, there were no women candidates.

In the District 16 delegate vote where a man won, only four members (men or women) voted for a woman. Three women and four men received no votes. With 11 women voting, it is apparent that the women members voted for the best candidate, man or woman.

In the most recent vote for a District 18 delegate vacancy, the only woman candidate received two votes, one from a woman and one from a man. Nine women voted for one of two men (one woman was absent). Two male candidates received no votes. It is apparent again that the women members voted for the best candidate, man or woman.

With the races in which there were women candidates, one woman and two men were elected; with three races you cannot have an equal number of men and women winning! From the record, it is apparent that the female (and male) members of the committee vote for the best candidate, man or woman.

The Democratic National Committee, the Maryland Democratic Party and the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee are all charged with recognizing women’s interests and supporting them for office.

Milton J. Minneman, Potomac

The writer is communications director of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.